Comments on: Democratizing the University UvA Staff for a New University Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:55:20 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ending the tragedy of the commons – ReThink UvA Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:55:20 +0000 […] to the ‘rise of the global corporate university’. As Robin Celikates en Enzo Rossi have stated, corporatization has changed the university into “the bureaucratic equivalent of a […]

By: Autochtoon Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:31:29 +0000 When you decentralise power to small departments you create fiefdoms that turn into political snake pits where getting hired is based on knowing the right people.

The only way forward is to promote a system based on external evaluation based on CV. There are many lecturers who are afraid of this, of course. Many of them got jobs simply by hanging around a department long enough. Now they complain that they always fail when applying for research money (whose fault is that?) and that they have to teach a lot. If they are not happy then I suggest they quit their jobs. There is no shortage of better qualified candidates from all over the world who would give their right arm to be in the position that many of these lecturers are in; permanent contracts with 13 months pay, pension funds, generous vacation allowance.

By: Joss Winn Wed, 18 Mar 2015 21:20:19 +0000 Thank you for writing this and providing some good ideas and discussion. If we want greater democracy within our universities, we have to constitute it and give it institutional form. Only then can we address the central issues of who owns the university and what it means to work as academics, students, librarians, cleaners, administrators, etc.

The international co-operative movement has working on these issues for 150 years and provide experience and resources to draw from:

By: Enzo Rossi Tue, 17 Mar 2015 23:48:11 +0000 A new version of this paper has been circulated to the relevant RethinkUvA lists today. Still a work in progress, but it’s the basis of our platform for change. So thanks, all, for your input, which should be recognisable in the new paper. We’ll update this post once we have collected more feedback and drafted a fuller version.

By: Raoul Wijnands (Maastricht University) Sun, 15 Mar 2015 22:27:17 +0000 Hello Enzo.

How about this?

1. The Executive Board should be elected by:
a. the Minister of Education (I only include him/her because he/she, in a very indirect way, represents the Dutch voter/citizen);
b. the staff;
c. the students.
Each party should have one third of the vote.

2. All other administrative bodies and managers should be elected by:
a. the administrative body / manager above them (because they still represent the citizen/voter, although increasingly indirectly);
b. the employees;
c. the students (maybe not applicable at all layers and in all departments / service centres of university?).

2. Managers on all levels should not only be evaluated by their ‘superiors’, but also by their ‘subordinates’, the students (if applicable), and everyone else affected by their decisions.

By: Rob Hagendijk Sun, 15 Mar 2015 04:38:25 +0000 You are right Enzo! There is no compelling reason to assume or suggest that our demands and accountability to the wider public are incompatible. On the contrary! But in arguing our positions it important to always make the point explicit as the accusation of group egoism and profitering is so often and eaily made. ‘lnternal’ and ‘external’ accountabilities have to be balanced. And that is a political and ethical issue and- by the way- cannot be resolved by silly or perverse quantitative indicators or restricted ‘rendementsdenken’.
Yours in discourse!

By: Raoul Wijnands (Maastricht University) Sun, 15 Mar 2015 02:56:43 +0000 Thanks, Enzo! 🙂

By: Enzo Rossi Sat, 14 Mar 2015 19:07:52 +0000 Good point, Raoul. Duly noted. We’re just beginning to work on all this so we’ll make sure to include more explicit references to the position of non-academic staff.

By: Raoul Wijnands (Maastricht University) Sat, 14 Mar 2015 17:49:59 +0000 I think it’s a very good text! But please help us by making the support staff more visible in the text. I mean the non-academic staff, like the staff from the libraries, the ICT centres, the language centres, etc. We also suffer from the lack of democracy. 🙁

For example, in this text: ‘Decentralization: Decisions should be taken in a democratic way, at the lowest possible level, i.e. the departments (or program teams) or the faculties, rather than the central administration’, you could add: ‘and the service centres’.

By: Enzo Rossi Sat, 14 Mar 2015 13:40:01 +0000 Rob, you’re right about the accountability issue. Fortunately though, I don’t think including it will prove incompatible with the broad points we make in that text.